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Manufacturing Month Works to Generate Student Interest in New STEM Careers

Keegan Tatum

  Manufacturing in the Central New York area has seen its decline, but showing young people about the field could drum up interest in areas that could be more promising.  Today, 300 students and 100 business leaders kicked off manufacturing month at Bristol-Myers Squibb. 

Eric Hubbard is a robotics teacher at Liverpool High School.  He says showing students real facilities and meeting real engineers is very beneficial.

“It helps them in the classroom because if I see a real opportunity for maybe what they would like to do, then they can focus their education on whatever that is."

Credit Keegan Tatum
Students observe robots at the the Manufacturers Association of Central New York's event, Manufacturing Day.

  He adds that there’s a growing enthusiasm for STEM subjects.

“We had a student who is with us here today who started out in our communications group, and then, when she got involved in the team, she realized she that would like to do more engineering-based work and education. And now she’s one of our lead students.”

  And it’s not just Hubbard’s students who are having a growing interest in STEM subjects.  Syracuse Academy of Science student Terry Lee Hines says he hasn’t always been interested in STEM subjects either.

“It is interesting because when we had robots at our school, I never really wanted to do it. I thought it was kinda lame. But now, going to see it, it kind of looks interesting. I might want to take part in it.”

Beyond robots, speakers at today’s event stressed the importance of manufacturing jobs. 

The event was hosted by the Manufacturers Association of Central New York. CEO Randy Wolken says that manufacturing isn’t dark and dirty like it was in the past.  He describes job sites now as being like modern-day video games where people are making high-tech products and advanced materials.